I hope all you moms out there had a happy Mother’s Day. I know that the Cubs gave you a present.
- The Nationals, thought by many to be the preseason favorites in the NL East, currently have the second-worst record in the National League, only ahead of the trainwreck on top of burning trash that is the Marlins. Michael Baumann outlines four things that have gone wrong in DC this season and says they need to turn things around now or it will be too late.
- Jay Jaffe also looks at what has gone wrong with the Nationals and places much of the blame on the bullpen and team defense.
- Dodgers pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu faced the Nationals on Sunday and took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, thanks in part to Stephen Strasburg getting thrown out at first base by Cody Bellinger on a 9-3 putout in the sixth inning.
- After Ryu’s 93-pitch, complete-game shutout, Dodgers catcher Russell Martin compared Ryu to Greg Maddux. For that game, maybe. Or you could compare the Ryu that Martin caught over the weekend to the forty-year-old Maddux that Martin caught with the Dodgers in the mid-aughts. But compared to prime-90s Maddux? No way.
- Even though they’re pretty much polar opposites in the baseball world, I can’t help but like both Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig and Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner. However. they don’t like each other much. On Sunday, Puig hit an inside fastball off Bumgarner for a solo home run in the sixth inning. Puig stood and admired his blast for quite a while. But Bumgarner did not try to get even by throwing at a Reds hitter. Instead, he told reporters after the game that “[Puig] is a quick study. It only took him seven years to learn how to hit that pitch.” Ouch. That one’s got to sting a lot more than a fastball to the ribs would.
- Bumgarner is expected to be one of the prime trade targets this summer, and now we know who the eight teams on his no-trade list are. Basically, it’s the eight best teams in the game, minus the Dodgers, whom Bumgarner would have to believe that the Giants would never deal him to. (And minus the Twins, I guess. No one saw that coming.) Yes, the Cubs are on the list.
- Staying with the Giants, pitcher Derek Holland is not happy with the team, blasting them for moving him to the bullpen and for putting him on the injured list with what Holland called a “fake injury.” Team president Farhan Zaidi defended the team, saying that Holland was injured, he just thought he could pitch through it and the team disagreed. Of course, faking an injury to put a player on the IL is a big no-no.
- MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wishes that Angels outfielder Mike Trout were more “marketable.” Maybe the problem is that MLB can’t figure out how to market a player who is as nice and decent as Trout. Jeff Passan has the whole story of a seven-year old kid from Maryland who is obsessed with Mike Trout and how Trout has gone out of his way to befriend him.
- The boy, Gavin Edelson, goes to see Trout play everytime the Angels visit the Orioles. Last year, the boy asked Trout to hit a home run for him. Trout said he’d try and he did. Guess what happened this year? Yep, Trout hit another home run as the kid was being interviewed on the broadcast.
- As Emma Baccellieri notes, it may be hard to believe but Trout has gotten even better this season. In particular, Trout’s BB/K ratio has taken a massive spike upwards this year. His walks are up a bit (they were always high), but his strikeouts are way, way down.
- There was a big controversy about the guy who caught the home run ball by Angels first baseman Albert Pujols that was his 2,000th career RBI. The man refused to give it to Pujols at the time. But now he says he will give the ball for free to either Pujols or the Hall of Fame. Basically, it sounds like he was unhappy at the aggressive way the Tigers staff treated him after he caught the ball, so he refused to part with it at the time.
- Michael Salfino notes that hitters are getting hit by pitches at record paces in recent years and he tries to examine why.
- Former Cubs (and everyone else!) pitcher Edwin Jackson was traded from Oakland to the Blue Jays for cash. If he takes the mound for Toronto, it will be his 15th major league team, setting an all-time record. The funny thing was, he was already traded to Toronto in 2011, but was immediately dealt an hour later in a three-team maneuver, so he never played for the Blue Jays before. Jackson has been in the minors all season, but Blue Jays starter Clay Buchholz was recently put on the IL and Jackson is expected to take his spot in the rotation.
- Will Leitch lists every team’s MVP so far this season.
- The Rays acquired catcher Travis d’Arnaud from the Dodgers for cash. d’Arnaud had a short Dodgers career, consisting of just one at-bat.
- The Rays are also reportedly talking to reliever Craig Kimbrel. If they can get a deal done with Kimbrel, they almost certainly will wait until after June 5 so they won’t lose a draft pick.
- Tampa Bay also placed pitcher Tyler Glasnow on the IL with forearm tightness. He’s expected to miss four-to-six weeks.
- Sunday’s Rays/Yankees game at Tropicana Field was delayed for 43-minutes by a power outage.
- Fans tried to help by going all rock concert with their cell phones, trying to light up the place.
- The Phillies put pitcher Vince Velasquez on the IL with a strained forearm.
- Twins DH Nelson Cruz will have an MRI on his left wrist.
- Twins outfielder Byron Buxton has been a disappointment after having been one of the most-heralded minor-league prospects of the last ten years. But Craig Edwards finds evidence that Buxton is just on the slow road to stardom.
- The government of Peru wants Peru to be the next Latin American hotbed of baseball. There’s never been a ballplayer from Peru, but refugees from strife-torn Venezuela are bringing the sport to the country and some sense that there’s an opportunity there for Peru. If anything, they could laugh at Coors Field and how close it is to sea level. (OK, I know the whole country isn’t at 10,000 feet. No angry letters from Peruvians, please.)
- Joe Sheehan writes that MLB is not ready to expand to 32 teams.
- Do you ever wonder why the rules for foul balls are different in the infield than in the outfield? Eric Chesterton explains why.
- During the 11th inning of Saturday’s battle at Wrigley, Brewers infielder Mike Moustakas decided to help himself to some sunflower seeds during a break in the action. Remembering his lessons from elementary school, he kindly offered some seeds to Kyle Schwarber, who was on second base. Schwarber politely declined, but I’m sure he appreciated Moustakas’ manners.
- And finally, the San Diego Padres thought it would be a nice gesture to change their Twitter handle to @Madres for Mother’s Day on Sunday. One problem: that meant that “@Padres” was available for anyone to use and someone else quickly snapped it up. Order has been restored, however.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.